Justice First Fellows are hosted by some of the best social welfare legal organisations in the country. Each year between 15-20 organisations are awarded grants which supports them to train a fellow over the two years of their training contract. Alongside the compulsory training, Fellows are supported by their host organisation to devise and run their own project aimed at increasing access to justice in order to gain programme development experience and potentially to provide a future income stream for their host organisation.

The application process for 2021 Hosts is now closed. You can find a list of the 2021 Hosts here.

The 2022 Host application process will open in November 2021.


What does the Justice First Fellowship involve?

  • A trainee solicitor: Hosts employ a trainee solicitor on a two year fully funded training contract. Those trainees are given a free place on the Professional Skills Course at BPP campuses , or equivalent compulsory training in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • A project: Host organisations work with the Fellow to develop a project that will benefit the organisation and perhaps create a source of income. This could be a chance to finally go paperless, or set up an outreach clinic.
  • Extra support: Along with the Fellows, Hosts can attend regular sessions on developing a project, professional development skills, and additional training e.g. communications, campaigning and fundraising, well-being support provided by Claiming Space , and access to useful networks.
  • Joining a cohort: Building relationship with other JFF hosts is just as important for Hosts as it is for Fellows. Hosts have reported that these partnerships have proved useful in other aspects of their work.


Is my organisation eligible to be a host?

Just like the fellows, host organisations go through a competitive application process. To be eligible your organisation must:

  •  Meet the requirements set out by the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority to supervise a trainee solicitor
  • Apply in partnership with an organisation who can provide the appropriate supervision.

Most Hosts are not for profit providers of legal advice, but some are private law firms committed to social justice and some are charities without a legal team who have partnered with another organisation. If your organisation does not have a solicitor, you could consider partnering with a firm who can support this aspect of the fellowship.
If you have not been a Host before or considering if a partnership application is right for you, please do get in touch with us here.


How are Hosts selected?

From the eligible applicants TLEF will only select Hosts who can offer fellows excellent legal training, an innovative work environment and the best support to become a successful social justice lawyer in the future. Eligible applicants are prioritised according to the following desirable criteria:

  • Likely to be financially stable for the duration of the training contract.
  • Have a strong training ethos.
  • Strives to learn from its beneficiaries or local community.
  • Be an expert in their area of social justice law.
  • Do work that is of national significance or play a key role in their geographic region.
  • Do work which is innovative and strategic.
  • Think creatively about the future sustainability of their work.
  • Cover a geographic area or particular community who are otherwise underserved by advice provision.

TLEF will endeavour to create a balanced selection each year across locations and legal specialisms, experienced and new Hosts. Consideration is also given to the priorities of co-funders who may choose to support a particular specialist area such as child law.


What does the Host receive?

A successful Host will receive a grant from TLEF to part or fully cover the costs associated with employing a fellow over the two years of their training contract. This grant covers the salary, National insurance, pension contribution and some or all of the associated supervision and support costs. TLEF will also cover the costs of the fellows PSC, a training budget of £1,500 in additional to compulsory training and up to £1000 for the purchase of a new laptop for the fellow to keep after the fellowship. An upfront payment of £5,000 is give to new Hosts for fellowship set-up costs including recruitment time. Private firms are expected to make a contribution to their supervision costs. It is also possible for two organisations to host in partnership, for instance where a private firm provides the regulated supervision of a trainee who also spends time working with a charity.

Hosts, like fellows, also become part of a wider cohort of social justice organisations who have taken part in the fellowship. Many Hosts have found the connections they have formed in this network to be the start of valuable working relationships. Hosts are offered training and peer support sessions facilitated by TLEF covering topics from fundraising, project management and supervision practice.


How are Fellows selected?

As a Host you are the fellow’s trainer and employer. Prospective fellows apply to the hosts of their choice through this website. The programme is extremely competitive and a high standard of graduates apply each year. Each Host follows their own recruitment process, with the foundation taking an observer role at interview stage. You can read more about the fellow application process here.


What about SQE?

We are keeping in close touch with developments on SQE and will be adapting the Fellowship for future years.


The Host information booklet below contains a more detailed description of the grant responsibilities and restrictions.


JFF Host Information Booklet

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